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I am in the process of creating a wardrobe closet in my house. The basis is standard elements, like the one shown in the image (image source), which can be customized with drawers, shelves, coat hangers etc. In principle, four such elements could be fit side-by-side in the niche designated for the closet, but to save money and for practical reasons, I am thinking about buying only two elements, putting them at the extreme ends, and attaching a bar for hanging coats in between (or possibly two bars, one above the other, for smaller items like shirts.)

enter image description here

The question is about the best methods to attach the bar. We have lots of clothes, which are likely to be very heavy - in the past we had (portable or suspended) clothes racks regularly collapsing under the weight. Note that it is never the bar itself that breaks, but rather its support, which is what my question is about. Note also that the cases are not of solid wood, but of agglomerated wood panels.

I see several options:

  • bar supports attached to the cases by screws - this seems like an unreliable option, since the screws could be ripped out from the wood, possibly with the pieces of the wood itself.
  • drilling holes through the wood panels and attaching the screws with nuts on the other side.
  • cutting round holes in the panels, to pass the bar through them
  • attaching the bar with any of the methods above, but then adding pieces of wood just below it (attached to the panels) as supports, to distribute weight.

Some of these options intuitively seem more robust then others, but I would appreciate a judgement based on experience or/and knowledge. Other suggestions are also welcome.

Remark: My technical terminology might be unprecise, since I am translating from another language. Any suggestions for improvement are welcome.

4 Answers 4

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You basically want to run a bar between two outside cabinet walls. That should be easy, even with particle board. Use a couple of these per bar: https://www.amazon.com/Creatyi-Stainless-Brackets-Bracket-Supports/dp/B08NP7CNKF

The problem with particle board is that screws don't hold well in tension. In your situation, they'll mostly be in shear, which is generally OK. But it really depends how thick the walls of the cabinets are. I'd start with just screws, and if they fail, they are easily swapped out for machine screws and washers.

It would behoove you to secure the cabinets to the walls, though, so they don't move.

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    I would also be beneficial to add extra supports in the middle of the bar, to avoid sag and create a separator to prevent all the clothes being shoved to one side Sep 7, 2023 at 12:22
  • It really depends on the size of the rod, and the weight of the clothes.
    – Huesmann
    Sep 7, 2023 at 12:23
  • Thanks. Essentially, you support my solution 1 (and 2, if 1 doesn't work.) And, yes, attaching the cabinets to the walls is a part of my program.
    – Roger V.
    Sep 7, 2023 at 12:26
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Put fairly large screw hooks into the ceiling framing, and support the rod(s) with cables or small chains from the hooks, ignoring the shelving units as support.

This method also allows for having a single bar on one side, and two at different heights on the other side.

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  • Sounds...wobbly.
    – Huesmann
    Sep 8, 2023 at 14:31
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Drilling large holes through the walls of the shelves and passing the bar through them is a good approach, but then you have the ends of the bars inside your shelves, which may not be desirable.

A good approach is to take a piece of solid 2x6, about 8 inches long, cut a round notch in one end to support the bar, and screw the 2x6 to the sides of the cabinet using many screws ... maybe 6 screws on each side, spaced all around the 2x6. Screw from the shelf side into the solid wood of the 2x4 and use a large washer. All this is to minimize tearing forces on the particle board.

Screw the shelves to the side walls so they don't rock left to right because that won't help the bar stay up.

If your clothes are abnormally heavy you could also use angled support brackets mounted to studs on the rear wall to support the middle.

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I'd recommend wardrobe pole sockets. This would require that the cabinets be anchored so they don't move away from each other, but it's a standard trivial solution.

Wardrobe Pole Sockets

(Image swiped from Amazon, but they're universally available in a wide range or materials.)

Or, if you don't want to buy, you can make your own: Cut a notch out of two boards, mount to side of cabinet with notch facing up, drop pole into notch.

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